Padraig Harrington is a man on a mission. Unless he can make something happen fast, he'll find himself on the outside looking in. For instance, he's currently 76th on the European Tour's Race to Dubai list; he needs to make top 60 in order to compete in next month's Tour finale in Dubai.
The numbers don't stop there. Harrington also needs to crack the top 60 in the World Golf Rankings if he's to tee off in next year's World Golf Championship events, which he can use to count towards his participation in both PGA Tour and European Tour events for membership purposes. He's currently 83rd in the World Golf Rankings.
So, last week's third-place finish in the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia is a start. The event was shortened to 54 holes, due to rain, with Harrington (at 13-under-par 200) falling two strokes shy to medalist Joost Luiten (198).
Consecutive bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes in the third and final round (holes he had birdied the day before) made the difference. Harrington recovered to birdie 13 and 14, but could shave no more strokes off par.
Peter Lawrie got a share of 29th place at 207 (69-71-67). Birdies at the last three holes in the final round helped considerably.
Michael Hoey was another shot back in 38th place at 208 (69-67-72). A double-bogey 7 at 18 in the final round had the opposite effect of Lawrie's late run. Hoey had birdies at this hole in each of the previous rounds.
Damien McGrane and Gareth Maybin both missed the cut by a stroke. McGrane shot 73 and 68, while Maybin came in with 70 and 71. A pair of double-bogeys on par-3s, as well as bogey at 18 in the second round, conspired to undo Maybin. They need to finish in the top 115 on the Race to Dubai in order to automatically qualify for full European Tour status in 2012. After Malaysia, McGrane stands 110th, while Maybin is 117th. Two events remain for them and Harrington to solidify their status.
Niall Turner also missed the cut here, carding 145 (70-75).
PGA TOUR Q-SCHOOL
Seamus Power was looking pretty good to advance to the third and final stage of the PGA Tour's qualifying tournament after three rounds at second stage at Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Tex. He had a 2-stroke cushion over the number that would then stand up as the cut point. But matters unraveled over the front nine on the fourth and final day.
Power racked up bogeys at the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth holes. Another bogey at 17 proved to be the dagger, since he managed to birdie 18. Power missed advancing by one stroke. Perhaps, his experience at the sixth hole has to be the most frustrating; he left there with birdie on each of the first three days.
Power shot 72, 66, 71 and 75 for an aggregate score of 4-under-par 284 in a field that included such PGA Tour stalwarts as Rich Beem, Doug Barron, Shaun Micheel and Jeff Maggert, all of whom advanced. Those who shot 283 or better move on to the final stage in La Quinta, Calif. beginning Nov. 30.
Chris Devlin fared no better at Hombre Golf Club in Panama Beach City, Fla., his adopted hometown. Consecutive double bogeys at 11 and 12 in the first round, as well as a quadruple-bogey 8 in the third round, were too much to overcome. He shot 8-over-par 292 (71-73-76-72) when 286 or better was needed for advancement. Devlin, a former teammate of Graeme McDowell at UAB, now heads for Spain, where he's still alive in second-stage qualifying for next year's European Tour.
Fergal Rafferty was slotted at Plantation Preserve in Plantation, Fla. and was only two strokes over par for 72 holes, but the scores were coming in very low and Rafferty's 286 was 10 strokes off the mark. He shot 74, 67, 72 and 73.